Exploring Shopware: Getting Started With The Platform

- E-Commerce, Shopware

Here at Firebear, we are always passionate about e-commerce technologies and platforms. From the very beginning of our history, we were dedicated to the Magento ecosystem. However, it’s time to exceed the existing boundaries, exploring new solutions. This time, Shopware captured our attention with an incredible amount to discover, especially after the switch to Shopware 6. Below, we describe how to get started with the Shopware e-commerce platform. The article contains a basic guide to the ecosystem and platform as well as links to other materials that explore its admin and features.

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Note that we provide Shopware integration with external platforms. Contact our support for further information or try our Improved Import & Export Extension for Shopware.

Get Improved Import & Export for Shopware by Firebear Studio

Shopware 6 – The Latest & The Greatest

Shopware 6 is a modern e-commerce system that comes after Shopware 5, which has been popular for years in Germany but didn’t gain broad popularity internationally. The reason for the inability to cross the borders was the system’s clumsiness. It was an outdated platform that was replaced by a completely new solution. Right! The situation reminds me of the switch between Magento 1 and Magento 2. 

Today, Shopware 6 incorporates a modern technology stack and delivers the latest e-commerce features. Another important aspect is that the system offers a developer-friendly environment. Since it is like Magento during its early days (all community efforts to improve the platform are highly appreciated), many Magento specialists and enthusiasts are now there. Ben Marks left Magento to join Shopware! It means a lot for both communities. But what are the other perks?  

Shopware’s latest version delivers all the necessary features a modern online storefront may request. With the enterprise-level capabilities onboard, it is also quite friendly to small and midsize businesses since they can leverage the platform’s basic features. 

The platform’s advanced flexibility is another vital aspect of its recent popularity. You can customize and expand almost any aspect of your e-commerce project, use numerous additional features, leverage custom layouts, etc. On the other hand, the system lets you implement a basic storefront with out-of-the-box functionalities. Shopware 6 is based on open-source technology and an MIT license, delivering the highest possible freedom level: any community member gets the ability to change the system according to their specific business requirements. 

As a result, we can see how a new community grows, empowering the ecosystem. Fresh minds speed up the platform’s development, extend its basic possibilities, and provide new third-party solutions.

With 20+ years of experience and 200+ employees on board, Shopware is proud of the following achievements:

  • 1200+ partners;
  • 100k+ customers;
  • €6 billion e-commerce turnover;
  • 14k installations of Shopware 6.

As for technological aspects of the system, they are quite intriguing: Bootstrap, Elasticsearch, Json API, OAuth, RabbitMQ, Redis, Swagger, Vue, etc. You can also use multiple frontends. Shopware 6 supports integrations with Alexa, Google Home, Instagram, etc. The system’s business logic layer is also worth your attention. It delivers the API-first approach associated with advanced flexibility and expandability. And with the latest data access layer, you get the fastest possible way to access data within the system.

5 vs. 6: Generation Gap

While Shopware 5 is an outdated platform that cannot compete with Magento 2 and other top e-commerce systems, Shopware 6 is a perceived threat in e-commerce providers’ kingdom. It enables a headless architecture, follows the API-first approach, and gathers numerous sales channels in one place, including Amazon, eBay, social media platforms, POS terminals, dropshippers, etc. Integrations with voice assistants, wearable devices, mobile apps, and various latest technologies are also at your disposal. Controlling Shopware 6 functions by API is no longer an issue, so you can turn your e-commerce store into a hub for all retail operations. 

A flexible Rule Builder is another vital improvement of Shopware 6. It is designed to help merchants customize prices, shipping, and various content elements as fast as possible. With this tool, you can adapt your offer to the circumstances within just a few clicks. 

Various integrations are available out-of-the-box in the latest version of the e-commerce platform. Shopware 6 lets you sync your store with CRM, ERP, and PIM systems. Along with that, it is possible to use numerous third-party tools to extend the basic import/export functionality. The Firebear team works on a solution that enhances the default data transfer capabilities of Shopware 6. Contact us for further information. 

Headless Architecture

Headless e-commerce websites have existed for several years. They are not yet dominant on the market, but their amount is continually growing. We’ve already described the phenomenon of headless e-commerce here: PWA and Headless Magento 2. But Magento is not the only e-commerce system that offers similar opportunities. Shopware 6 is even more “headless” due to its independent frontend and backend. In a nutshell, Shopware 6 is divided into the following three blocks: 

  1. Core – an environment where commerce processes take place;
  2. Administration – an interface where you manage resources associated with the previous layer;
  3. Storefront – a default frontend app aimed at store visitors.

As you can see, the third block can be replaced with a third-party solution so that you can use Shopware’s headless core with any frontend. 

Another important element of headlessness is associated with the modular and scalable nature of Shopware 6. Its API consists of the following independent services: 

  • Admin API: configuration and data sync; 
  • Sync API: bulk import processes;
  • Sales Channel API: transactions, search queries, and content. 

Thus, Shopware 6 belongs to platforms where the shop system and frontend interface are not a single stack. You get a level of abstraction. Consider it an opportunity to create better software solutions within and for the platform. A functional space is encapsulated in API endpoints, allowing you to interact with all the platform’s features and integrate the entire system with external platforms. 

Moreover, you can streamline the headless nature of the e-commerce system with Shopware PWA’s help. This progressive web application is developed for Shopware 6 from scratch. It incorporates Nuxt.js as a foundation and gains inspiration from the most potent PWA acts, such as Vue Storefront. 

The PWA plays a role of a Shopware frontend, which, in its turn, is responsible for a backend system. This division lets you connect a single Shopware admin to multiple frontends. 

Shopware 6 Core Features

However, the headless architecture is not the only competitive advantage of Shopware. The system also delivers numerous other features. Let’s say a few words regarding each of them:

  • Rule Builder. The Shopware Rule Builder lets you create flexible rules associated with promotions, generate cross-sells, and show/hide content according to specific conditions. The tool delivers customer targeting that incorporates complex rules with admin-friendly management. The functionality of this mighty instrument is a topic of a separate article. We will return to it later.
  • Shopping Experiences. Shopping Experiences is a new CMS system introduced in Shopware 6. It combines commerce and content aspects of the shopping experience to unify it across multiple channels. Due to an intuitive interface, you need no technical skills to master the feature. 
  • Let’s say a few more words regarding what happens within the tool. You will find prefabricated blocks there that offer combinations of texts, images, commerce components, etc. All these elements are responsive and customizable so that it is possible to adapt them to specific sales channels. 
  • Sales Channels. Shopware 6 incorporates the idea of selling whenever your potential customers could be. The system allows for combining social media platforms, marketplaces, POS systems, and typical online shops under the roof of Shopware 6. Asa result, you get a palace to manage all of them, no matter how different your channels are! Shopware easily copes with various localization aspects, including language, currency, and tax. 
  • Admin Interface. Imagine a clear admin interface with intuitive navigation and outstanding functionality. It’s the administrative section of Shopware 6. The platform eliminates complexity, delivering a minimal learning curve. You get all features available and easily accessible. Another important moment associated with the Shopware admin is flexibility. Since the section incorporates Vue.js, you can easily customize its look and feel.
  • Product Management. Shopware 6 allows for creating multiple product variants. Generate new product properties suitable for your business, manage them from a corresponding screen, and apply them to the product level, generating variants of any complexity. 
  • Dynamic Catalogs. Shopware 6 lets you create dynamic product catalogs using flexible filter criteria. The Product Streams feature automates further product processing, applying changes to items if particular conditions are met. 
  • SEO. Shopware 6 delivers broad SEO functionality out-of-the-box. Rich snippets, metadata, canonical tags, breadcrumbs, and other instruments are at your disposal.
  • Promotions. With the Discounts & Promotions module, Shopware 6 provides numerous marketing features that engage customers and boost sales. The system lets you define groups and set discounts per channel or assigned to a specific target audience. 
  • Media Management. Shopware 6 lets you store, organize, and retrieve digital media of any kind. The platform not only optimizes various management processes associated with media content but also lets you handle any data amounts without compromising performance. With Shopware 6, you can sort media by categories, add keywords, filter out the data selection, and display where your media is located. 
  • B2B Suite. Shopware introduces a B2B framework integrated into existing workflows and processes. It delivers such features as:
    • Admin and company rights and roles;
    • Advanced partner contact management;
    • Budgeting;
    • Partner-specific price functions;
    • Fast orders.
  • Rich Payment Opportunities. Shopware 6 lets you operate in more than 200 markets and use 100+ currencies due to the integrated PayPal module. Also, the system lets you accept credit and debit cards, direct debits, and payments upon invoice. 
  • Third-party Modules. The Shopware 6 ecosystem offers various modules that extend the default platform’s functionality. You can control them in the Plugin Manager. The tool lets you install, purchase, update, and delete third-party modules within just a few clicks. 

Shopware 6 Products

Shopware 6 is available in several editions:

  • Enterprise Edition (Self-Hosted) includes the most extended set of features:
    • Integrated storefront;
    • Drag & drop editor;
    • Customizable products;
    • Manufacturer support;
    • CMS functions;
    • B2B Suite;
    • Sales channels;
    • Enterprise Search;
    • Individual and developer support.
  • Professional Edition (Cloud & Self-Hosted) is the only Shopware 6 solution available both in the cloud and on-premise. It delivers the following features:
    • Integrated storefront;
    • Drag & drop editor;
    • Customizable products;
    • Manufacturer support;
    • CMS functions;
    • Sales channels.
  • Starter Edition (Cloud) represents the easiest way to launch an e-commerce website, implementing a basic business idea in a few clicks. It is an all-in-one solution with a freemium model. 

Official Sources

Below, you can see the official sources about Shopware that provide detailed information on the platform. 

  • Shopware website. If you have any questions about Shopware, you can always visit the company website. It unveils all important information about the platforms, related products, version comparisons, and contacts. 
  • Besides, it is always possible to find an agency that supports your business requirements due to the partner listing. An overview of Shopware’s further education offer is also available there. 
  • A blog with all news, case studies, and other materials about Shopware 6 are also at your disposal. You can find it and other information here: Shopware website.
  • Community Store. The standard Shopware scope may lack features vital for your business. However, you can find them in the Community Store. This place gathers software manufacturers who provide their unique extensions and tools. All products are available here: Shopware community store
  • Shopware Account. You can manage and view your bookings and invoices here. Besides, it is possible to edit your stored data in your account. The official Shopware support is also situated in the Shopware account along with the license overview. For further information, follow this link: Shopware Account
  • Shopware Docs. It is a knowledge base of Shopware. It contains contributions that show how to configure and run a Shopware website. You can find more information here: Shopware Docs.
  • Shopware Forum. Like any other decent e-commerce platform, Shopware has its official forum. You can exchange ideas and share experiences here: Shopware Forum
  • Shopware Devdocs. For developers and web designers, Shopware offers detailed documentation that describes how the platform works. The corresponding resource contains all information about the technologies behind Shopware and how to extend them. Hit this link to see the guides: Shopware Developer Documentation
  • Shopware Issuetracker. It is a place where you can report general bugs in the Shopware software. If a problem you’ve faced can be reproduced in one of the demo shops, you can report it here: Shopware Issuetracker.

Other Shopware 6 Guides & Materials

Below, you will find our guides on Shopware 6. The following materials describe the platform’s functionality and features:

Get Improved Import & Export for Shopware by Firebear Studio

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